Fake letters of exemption in circulation: Retailers

Denford Mutashu

CONFEDERATION of Zimbabwe Retailers (CZR) has raised alarm over unscrupulous elements issuing exemption letters to some businesses to operate during the 21-day national lockdown period.


Zimbabwe is on its 17th day of the lockdown announced by authorities to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the country.

Retailers fall under the essential services sector, which has been allowed to operate during the lockdown period.

“The Confederation of Zimbabwe Retailers (CZR) wishes to inform retailers and wholesalers that letters of exemption to operate during the 21-day lockdown pronounced by President Emmerson Mnangagwa are only issued by CZR through Ministry of Industry and Commerce. It has come to our attention that there are unscrupulous elements purporting to be officials of CZR who have been duping retail players by promising to facilitate exemption letters on behalf of the confederation,” CZR president Denford Mutashu said in a statement.

“The procedures include a retailer or wholesaler has to be offering essential services, has to have a valid trading licence, should get clearance from your local Zimbabwe Republic Police station, should abide by the government gazetted new operating hours. The letter from association is free to members and non-members. The letter should strictly be used for the COVID-19 lockdown provision of essential services only.

“The retailer must get a letter from Ministry of Industry and Commerce and CZR. It is critical to note that retailers should be wary of bogus CZR officers and for one to become a member of CZR, you are encouraged to visit our offices and make inquiries.”

Mutashu reiterated the call for Industry and Commerce ministry to encourage all exempted retailers and wholesalers to immediately stock masks and sanitary gloves which can be procured easily from local suppliers as this improves access to the general public since there were limited selling points.